We live in the city, so we only have a small garden, which we are very fortunate to have! Last year we redesigned it so we would have enough space to eat, sit and play on our terrace. We also wanted to have plenty of flowers in the garden, so at first there was no more space for a vegetable garden.
Both my son and I were a little disappointed by that, so in March we bought a big planter and got out our unused terracotta pots. We planted some vegetable seeds and plants as well as lots of herbs. And of course, strawberries for the kids. It is the first time we have vegetables in our garden, what a joy it is to pick something out of your garden and put it right onto your own plate.
So this weekend we went out in the rain and picked two beetroots and a lot of fresh herbs out of our own garden to make this great salad by Yotam Ottolenghi, my ultimate favourite author of vegetable dishes and salads. How cool is that! The salad was delicious, it had a good and fresh bite from the raw beetroot (I never knew you could eat it raw.. but I've never been a fan of beetroot before), a nice little punch from the chiliflakes and lots of flavour from all the different kinds of herbs. The mixture of textures with the raw beetroot, nuts, seeds and leaves was also very pleasant. Mmmh, my mouth is watering again... And besides all of that, the salad is also a beauty!
We ate the salad as a sidedish next to a simple butter-baked trout and some potatoes, but the salad definitely was the star of the evening.
Salad of beetroot and fresh herbs from our garden
Salade van rauwe biet en kruiden
Plenty More, page 21
Author Yotam Ottolenghi
Ingredients for 2p
2 raw beetroot
3 spoons of slivered almonds
1 spoon of sesame seed
4 spoons of pumpkin seeds
2-3 hands of basil leaves (torn)
1 hand of parsley
1 hand of dill
1 hand of cilantroleaves
Leaves of a small branchlet of tarragon
1 teaspoon of dried chili flakes
Zest of 1 organic lemon
3 spoons of lemonjuice
75ml of a nice olive oil
Salt & black pepper
Peel and slice the beetroot into small strips. Roast the slivered almonds, pumpkin and sesame seeds for a few minutes in a pan (or oven) untill they are slightly browned. Let it cool.
Mix the beetroot, most of the fresh herbs, chili flakes and lemonzest in a big bowl. Add most of the nuts & seeds, lemonjuice, olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix it all, put it in a nice deep plate and garnish with the extra herbs and seeds. (I put dill flowers on top, to finish it off nicely)
Score: 5 out of 5
Tip: I like the seeds and nuts better when panfried. Ottolenghi advises to eat the salad next to grilled lamb or fat fish, I think that would make a better combi.
Time: 20-30 minutes, most of the time will be spent by cutting and gathering the herbs, so timing depends mostly on your speed. If you are fast, probably you could make it in less than 10 minutes.
Degree of difficulty: Easy
Amount of work vs waiting: All work
Ideal for: Side dish, salad, lunchmeal